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Whacky Week: How Exercise Can Help You Deal with Stress

Man sitting in front of a computer with his hands on his head and a phone being placed by his ear.This past week was stressful to say the least. First, my relatively new air conditioner stopped working on Friday, so I spent the entire night opening windows and making sure my family slept comfortably. I was also constantly thinking about what the problem could be and if a repairman could come out on a Saturday. Another thing that was bothering me was how much it was going to cost. As if that weren’t enough, the following Monday, I got in a parking lot fender-bender which scraped some paint from both cars. Finally, an unexpected medical bill came in the mail which added more anxiety to my plate.

Has your blood pressure gone up just reading this? Mine has. Even though I feel I am financially prepared with my emergency fund for any bumps in the road, it still is VERY stressful for me. I get stuck in my head about how to resolve problems. I feel this anxiety in my heart, head, and body. I even tend have a short temper with my wife and work friend. I finally decided that enough was enough—I didn’t want to have stress take over my life. So, I started making some lifestyle changes to reduce stress. I’d like to share some of these exercise-related tips with you, so you can lead a more balanced life.

Get Moving

Man at gym lifting a heavy weighted bar over his head while he bends his knees.I know that adding exercise to your weekly routine seems impossible schedule-wise. Sometimes, you just have to make time for yourself, though. Luckily, using fitness and exercise as an outlet can be a huge stress reliever for folks. It gets your endorphins going—these are the chemicals in your brain that relieve stress and pain. They even produce a feeling of euphoria. You can get them from an intense run or just a quiet nature hike. No one’s suggesting you have to do a hardcore workout if you don’t want to. Low stress workouts will also do the trick.

Not only will exercise help rid you of your stress, but your bodily systems will also benefit from a little extra activity. When you exercise, your cardiovascular, digestive, and immune systems work together to protect you from the harmful effects of stress. Talk about a win/win situation.

A Form of Meditation

Exercise is also a form of meditation. Once I get a sweat going, I start to forget about the day’s irritations, and I only concentrate on my body’s movements. It forces you to forget about the things you can’t control and focus on the ones you can. As if that wasn’t enough, exercising forces you to focus on your breathing so that you become more centered.

Catch Some Z’s

Man sleeping on his pillow with a smile on his face. An alarm clock that's set for 6:15 is on the table next to him.Obviously, if got a good sweat in, your body needs to heal as it focuses on recovering. So, don’t skimp on your sleep. I promise you that exercising will help you rest easier at night. No more lying in bed thinking about all the incoming problems of the day. Staying active can ease your stress levels and give you a sense of command over your body and life.

Hopefully, this article has convinced you that exercise shouldn’t be just another thing on your “to-do” list. On the contrary, you can find something you enjoy and make it a part of your routine. You may come to enjoy the activity and you’ll be less stressed out on top of it. There’s no reason not to try.

As beneficial as exercising is, it can’t help resolve every problem you have. Luckily, Allen & Co Investments is here to help with any financial issues you have. Our team of professionals hate to hear when any of our clients are stressed. So, reach out to us if you need any extra assistance and we’ll be happy to help.

April 2021

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